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Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole will step down at the end of the year, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday, ending months of speculation about O’Toole’s future amid a tumultuous time in city government.

“More than anything, I’ve loved being a cop,” O’Toole said during a news conference Monday morning. “To me, it's not just a job, it’s my vocation, it’s my passion.”

O’Toole will leave her post on Dec. 31, and Deputy Chief Carmen Best will serve as interim chief beginning Jan. 1, Durkan said during the news conference.

Durkan said she plans a nationwide search for a new chief, to be led by a hand-picked committee headed by four co-chairs. She called the selection of a police chief “one of the most important decisions a mayor can make,” the Seattle Times reports.

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